Many a fisherman has noted that, for its size, the bream fights harder than almost any other fish. If a bluegill or shellcracker reached the size of, for example, a blue catfish it's hard to imagine the epic battles that would unfold between man and beast. In a similar vein, South Carolina may be only be the 40th largest state in the Union - but it punches well above its weight in the diversity and quality of its fisheries. We may be a little biased, because the Palmetto State is our home, but we would rate the wide variety of lakes, rivers, and saltwater fisheries in our state as being as good or better than what any other state has to offer.
Sure, Alaska has salmon. And Florida has snook. But in how many states can you fish for trout on a beautiful mountain stream or deep, clear Lake Jocassee in the morning - and then head a couple of hours down the road and go after a 50 plus pound striped bass on a massive reservoir like Clarks Hill in the afternoon? And then head a little over an hour east to a highland reservoir like Lake Murray, to enjoy the nationally renowned bass fishing lake which has played host to multiple championship level tournaments? And then drive another hour and a bit down the road to the swampy headwaters of the world famous Santee Cooper lakes where you can fish for giant bass, world record catfish and more amongst the cypress trees and alligators? And then pop less than an hour down the road to Charleston for some premier inshore fishing with world class redfish action - or head offshore for tuna, wahoo, dolphin, and even a billfish?
If that sounds like a lot of excitement, and it is, take a moment to imagine what you missed on this whirlwind tour! You missed Lake Hartwell and Lake Wylie, host to top bass tournaments including the Bassmaster Classic, and multiple smaller lakes with lesser names but sometimes even better fisheries such as Lake Greenwood, Lake Russell, Lake Wateree, and Lake Monticello - where the next world record blue catfish and a state record largemouth just might be swimming. And you also missed top inshore and offshore fishing action at such popular tourist destinations as the Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach area) and Hilton Head Island - and quieter local gems such as Edisto Island and Beaufort.
From the mountains to the sea, South Carolina is a fisherman's paradise and has earned its reputation as a premier fishing destination.
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